If “Everything is Awesome” was the theme of 2014, then surely this year it will be “Everything is Awesome in black” with the upcoming release of the LEGO Batman movie. February 10th sees the dark knight back on the big screen in brick form along with a good portion of DC Comics’ quite extensive catalogue of heroes and villains. With the Clown Prince of Crime center stage, LEGO’s now infamous wit and comic timing, as well as an impressive vocal cast to boot, this is sure to be one of this year’s highlights.
Set Number: 70901
Minifigures: Batman, Mr. Freeze, Security Guard
But Bat-fans, can we possibly wait THAT long? A month is a long time after all.
The good news is that, after teasing us with trailer after trailer (and a rather amusing Sky Broadband ad campaign), the masters of construction toys have now given us further hints at what we can potentially see in the movie with the release of several movie tie-in sets. From the pocket money priced Joker Balloon Escape set (Nice touch LEGO adding Batman and the Joker in the cheapest set), to a fully-fledged LEGO Arkham Asylum at more than ten times the price, there are so many sets to pick and choose from, and it’s a LEGO DC fan’s dream in terms of minifigure collecting.
LEGO has always had a soft spot for Batman. After huge success with LEGO Star Wars, the dark knight was next in line to continue the historic turnaround of LEGO’s fortunes, helping them return to prominence and ultimately reconquer the toy market. It’s safe to say that you can thank Bats for pretty much every superhero minifigure you currently have in your collection.
As a nice introduction set, the low-end priced Mr. Freeze Ice Attack set is likely to garner a great deal of attention as a first purchase, especially considering that Freeze hasn’t seen too many releases over the year, having appeared in only a handful of sets previously.
Unsurprisingly, two of the three minifigures included in the set are Batman and Mr. Freeze, but it’s the unnamed and heavily armed security guard figure who accompanies the pair which is strangely interesting. Looking like a mixture of a LEGO City policeman and firefighter, this generic character is actually anything but.
The plain black legs are more than made up for thanks to a wonderfully detailed torso which features everything you’d expect an American security guards outfit to feature; The white shirt, black tie, chest pockets, badge, and belt, right down to the tie clip. It’s a fairly standard set up and yet the detail still impresses. Sadly, it’s all on the front, with only the belt printed on the figures back.
Interestingly, this particular security guard is also wearing full breathing apparatus, much like that found on LEGO City firefighters, and so as a result the bland back is thankfully covered by the standard yellow oxygen tanks used in a number of themes. Much like the rest of the figure, the headpiece is anything but standard, featuring two mustached faces with bushy eyebrows and cheekbone lines.
Capping off the figure is the full breathing helmet more traditionally worn down at the LEGO fire station. One of the most interesting aspects of the figure is his choice of weapon, it’s not a small handgun, more heavy artillery thanks to the addition of a grey pair of binoculars used to extend the pistol’s barrel considerably.
Moving on to the dark knight himself and it’s safe to say that he’s had something of an upgrade since the LEGO Movie. A couple of the movie tie-in sets back in 2014 featured the superhero and while the figure came with a slightly more traditional Tim Burton style black suit, there wasn’t a great deal to define this new dark knight as a unique entity. Now that he is the star of the show, however, the LEGO designers have made a few changes.
Sticking with the black and yellow ensemble, the legs are the least interesting part of the figure unsurprisingly, but that’s where the tedium ends. A brand new utility belt piece has been included which sits between the legs and the torso. Entirely yellow, the detail on this new part matches the printing on the old Batman figure like for like, with a belt buckle and pouches front and back. An interesting, if not necessarily on purpose side-effect of this new piece is that the figure is now taller than his predecessor.
The new belt piece also means that printing on the torso itself is no longer as restricted on space and so this caped crusader gets a full six-pack, though the yellow and black chest logo remains the same size. Like most modern Batmans, the head piece has a black band across the forehead which serves as the characters eyes when the cowl is on. Similar to the LEGO movie version, the mouth on the face is slightly less serious with more of a smirk on one side and a slightly comical angry look on the other. Finishing off his iconic look is the black cowl piece, which matches the figures previous variant, including the now less conventional thin bar across the bottom of the mouth area. The figure also includes the soft material cape, another upgrade on the previous version.
In addition to the character’s standard Batarang, Batman also gets a set-specific flamethrower – makes sense if you’re going up against someone who uses ice as a weapon. A large barrelled gun piece and flame make up the majority of the weapon, with a couple of single studs adding extra detail.
The real draw of this set, however, is Mr. Freeze and before we delve into the details of his exosuit, the minifigure himself deserves some serious admiration. One of the more interesting villains from Arkham Asylum, this variant of Freeze is incredible with every inch of the standard minifigure body used. The printed detail runs from head to toe with the character’s suit beautifully recreated in a predominantly dark blue colouring with a lighter shade adding to the grey and silver. The printing includes the key features of his metallic suit, with metal toe caps and knee guards, the chest piece with two hoses protruding. as well as a large silver neckline on the back of the torso.
Taking the minfiigure to a new level is the huge should armour piece which looks like it came straight out of a Nexo Knights set. While is does cover up some of the more interesting printing on the torso, its hard to deny that this light blue addition adds substantial aesthetic value to the finished figure. In addition to looking awesome, this piece also serves as the clip for connecting the transparent fishbowl-style helmet.
As the head is on full display at all times, it is not surprising that Mr. Freeze only has one face, a rather Brainiac looking head if you ask me (that’s compared to the DC Superhero games version of the Superman villain). Matching the colouring of the shoulder armour, Freeze’s head piece features a rather creepy-looking face with large red eyes, each bordered with a metallic rim. His face also includes a less than exciting mouth and cheekbone lines.
Arming a character like Mr. Freeze will always be a challenge, you can’t go one-piece generic with this guy – and they haven’t. The ice gun, at roughly the same size as a LEGO Dimensions micro-vehicle, includes a main gun barrel made from a LEGO telescope piece reversed set on a number of circular translucent blue pieces (for extra ice effect). On either side of this main construction is a secondary piece of weaponry. For those looking for a more interactive experience, the weapon also includes a stud shooter on top as well.
The Ice Prison
Away from the minfigures, the first thing you’ll find yourself building is the ice prison which our heavily armed security guard finds himself confined to. It’s unsurprisingly rudimentary in its design using two 2×4 plates connected by two hinges and some white ‘L’ shaped pieces as the foundation for the two large icicle pieces to sit on.
The hinges allow you to open and close the prison with ease and any standard minifigure will easily sit inside with space to spare, just in case your imagination finds Batman having a pretty bad day on the job. It’s simple, yet incredibly effective.
The Power Plant
The power plant setting is probably the least interesting part of the set. Let’s be honest, once you’ve got a flamethrowing Batman taking on the epic Mr. Freeze Exosuit, this part of the set kind of feels like an after-thought, WRONG!
After completing the construction of this set I took a look at some of the additional sets from this range which were featured in the back of the instruction booklet, where I learned something quite interesting. It seems that three of the lower priced sets actually connect together to build one much large scene featuring multiple characters, and the powerplant is one of them. Damn you LEGO, you’ve surprised me with your genius once more! While obviously, any LEGO set will essentially go with another, the specific design of these three sets allows them to fold and clip together perfectly – I tip my hat to the designer of that idea.
On its own, though, I’m not sure the scene is overly exciting, not being very large and having no real interactive elements to entice play once constructed. It does, however, feature some impressive design details, but that is something more for collectors to admire over younger LEGO fans.
Mr. Freeze’s Exosuit
In addition to the man himself, the other draw with this set is likely to be Mr. Freeze’s Exosuit. It’s the last thing you’ll build if you follow the instructions to the letter, but don’t be too concerned when you look at how many pieces you have left going into this build, I promise you they’re all there, the design is surprisingly minimalistic, yet impressively functional. That said, I did feel the finished product looked a little bit smaller than I’d expected it to be.
As with any number of similarly designed builds, the huge majority of the work in this comes from the central body piece. As this isn’t anything near the size of the Hulkbuster or Doc Ock’s goliath from last years Spider-man range, the arms and legs are actually quite simplistic, made from only a handful of pieces for detail, purpose-specific pieces for the hands and the standard ball sockets at the joints.
The real beauty of this construction comes from the fiddly details that go into the cockpit area. While a large singular piece with ball sockets makes up a good portion of this part of the suit, a great deal of detail has gone into the decoration inside and out. A stickered triangular console sits inside where the figure will fit, it’s a nice addition despite the fact that it is difficult to make out when a minifigure is in place.
The back of the suit is constructed by mixing two tones of grey with translucent blue pieces. The finished piece looks superb with what looks like large icy cylinders running up the sides. The back is clipped on in such a way that it can be pulled out to allow easy access for a minifigure. A handlebar-type piece has also been added to the top here to provide the figure with more stability during rough playtime. In terms of detail, though, the absolute highlight comes from the use of two large blue and white flexible hoses which sit either side of the cockpit, connecting at both the top and the bottom, arching round the arms.
As you would expect, the Exosuit is poseable with moveable joints at the shoulders, hips, and knees and being relatively small in statue it is incredibly stable in a number of different poses. As an added bonus, the huge weapon which Freeze’s minifigure is armed with fits perfectly into the hand grip of the suit.
The Set Overall
Overall, the Mr. Freeze Ice Attack is superb value for money, including three fantastic minfiigures, a superb Exosuit and a scene setting which turns out to be far more interesting than the first impression you’re likely to get from it.
The Batman minifigure upgrades add incredible value to a new variant which brings a fresh touch the one of the most used characters in LEGO history and the Mr. Freeze figure is a much-needed addition for any DC fan’s LEGO collection. While minimalistic in design, the Exosuit more than delivers for the price-range and looks amazing as a piece on it’s own.
A fantastic set to begin your LEGO Batman movie collection with.
This set was provided for review purposes. However, all reviews reflect the authors own personal views and are not influenced in any way.
- The minifigures included are superb, the Batman variant stands tall as one of the best, Mr Freeze looks amazing, and even the generic character impresses
- The Exosuit is the absolute highlight of the set, providing a superb and unique addition to your collection
- A well-detailed setting that, while not impressing at first does offer some interesting features when added to other sets in the range.
- Stickers, I hate them. There’s only three in this set, but they are all things that could have been pre-printed.
- On its own, the power plant is lacking
The Bat is BACK!
With a £20 price tag, you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth here. Including the dark knight, an A-list villain and an awesome Exosuit, this is sure to please fans. While there are a few minor disappointments with the set, overall this is the perfect low-priced introduction to the new range.